I’ve been blogging for just over a year now. The difference between my reviews in the beginning compared to now is…huge, to say the least (seriously, my old reviews are actually embarrassing *shudders*). But surprisingly, it didn’t actually take me long to figure out my review method and have it pinned.
The thing is, I don’t actually think through my reviews too much. I don’t read a book and think “Is this good? Do I like it? Are there any problems?” with every page, because that’s just guaranteed to take my enjoyment away. I’m not even particularly critical in my review of the book. I only talk about my general thoughts.
To put it simply, my method is quite short. Once I’ve chosen my next book, I grab my notebook and doodle the title at the top of a new page for notes. I read the book. Every time I put the book down – or very 100 pages or so – I write down some notes. I finish the book, and use the notes to write the review. Simple!
(Oh and side note: my reviews are ALWAYS spoiler-free. I want my reviews to convince the people who haven’t read the books I love to read them…so it’s no good riddling it with spoilers!)
It can still be hard writing a review though. Sometimes, you just get a mind block, sitting there with your fingers hovering over the keyboard and your mind screaming “WHAT DID I THINK?!?!?”
And so, here are a few tips I use when the mind-screaming-sitting-blankly-at-your-screen moment happens.
Sounds pretty obvious, but quite a lot of reviewers don’t actually take any notes while they’re reading. I write notes for every single book, and it just makes writing reviews so much easier. While your mind may be blank, your page isn’t, and you can start expanding those notes into coherent thoughts.
Mark quotes you like
You might be reading, and a particular sentence really stands out to you. Mark it. Even if you don’t include quotes in your reviews, it’s still nice to be able to find that quote again. It might even spark an idea for the next sentence/paragraph in your review, if you can pinpoint why you like the quote. I use little post-it note tabs to mark mine, but if you’re not bothered about keeping your books in absolute pristine condition, you could dog-ear the page, underline the quote, even highlight it.
If you’re stuck on what to write, think about the main points
What did you think of the characters? The plot? Setting/World? Your feelings while reading? Ask yourself questions about what you’d want to know about the book, and it makes things a lot easier.
“No thoughts” says just as much
If you follow the previous tip, maybe you’re sat there thinking “I didn’t really have any thoughts on the characters”…then say that! Having no thoughts on a certain thing says just as much as the rest of the review. It shows that it wasn’t particularly interesting to you, or was neither good nor bad. It was just there. Saying something along the lines of “I didn’t really have any thoughts about the world in this book. Nothing stood out, it was much more plot based” is just as acceptable as saying why you did/didn’t like it.
Hard star rating?
If you’re struggling to decide what to rate the book out of 5, rate it out of 10 instead. This gives you a wider range of numbers to choose from – so while an 8 might seem just a tad too high, a 7/10 might sound like the perfect rating. Once you’ve chosen your number, halve it, and you have your rating out of 5!
So that, my lovely friends, is all I have to say on my reviewing process!
Thank you for having me! I hope this post was a help to you all, or at least interesting enough to hold your attention for a short while. I love seeing other people’s reviewing method, so I was excited to write about my own.
Anyway, I hope you all have a wonderful day!